As you may remember from previous correspondence, we have heard often the rationalization, "Let's just take his money, then vote against him." What the apologist means, of course, is that politicians can accept AEA Czar Paul Hubbert's money, then ignore his demands. In order for this argument to stand it is necessary to conclude that Hubbert is a silly fool, that he dispenses money by the hundreds of thousands and gets nothing whatever in return. Any who may not yet be convinced of the weakness of this rhetoric might want to listen to something Hubbert himself has to say.
Recently I have heard from several sources another argument that is equally unconvincing. It is this: Rather than confronting the AEA head-on, we should concentrate on reforming it!
Reform the AEA? In order to reform the AEA we would have to convince Paul Hubbert, or whoever might one day replace him, to stop doing the job he was hired to do. Let me offer you an analogy.
Ron Gettelfinger is the head of the United Auto Workers union. And he would be unabashed in saying whose interests he is looking after. It's the autoworkers, not the auto manufacturers or their customers. He is focused narrowly and exclusively on his union members, those who are paying the dues that pay his salary. If you will pardon my French, this is his raison d'Ítre.
Now, just as Gettelfinger is the head of the auto workers union, so is Hubbert the head of the teachers union. And here the correspondence in the analogy springs into clear view:
|Union||Union Head||Union Members||Product Providers||Customers|
|UAW||Gettelfinger||Autoworkers||Car Manufacturers||Car Owners|
But I must quickly add an important note. Most of our teachers in Alabama are good, dedicated teachers, and while some few may ascribe to the AEA/NEA's outrageous agenda, most probably do not. They are held in Hubbert's grasp largely through the fear of lawsuits he incessantly warns them about, and the mistaken belief that only AEA can provide the insurance they need in this litigious age.
This should be more than enough to counter any false hopes of reforming the AEA, but there is one thing more. In order to reform the AEA we must first reform the NEA. The NEA is the parent of the AEA, and exercises a heavy influence over it. And the ultra-liberal agenda of the NEA is all too well known. Need I waste any keystrokes in detailing this point?
Despite these arguments made in favor of continuing to take AEA money, the overwhelming majority of those I talk to strongly favor our ceasing to do so. And to this I obviously say amen.
For the convenience of newcomers our previous e-mails may be accessed from the table below. Also be sure to read our recent correspondence received from other Republicans, also given below.
Yours till next time,
Madison County, Place 1
State Executive Committee
|E-mail 1||E-mail 2||E-mail 3|
|E-mail 4||E-mail 5||E-mail 6|
|E-mail 7||E-mail 8|
Keep up the good work in exposing the AEA and trying to distance the Alabama Republican Party from Paul Hubbert and what he and AEA stand for, Hugh!
A County Chairman
The AEA, in my opinion, is nothing but a union gone astray. There is little concern for education improvement. The primary concern is and will continue to be the transfer of the education budget into bigger salaries and more benefits. As I mentioned to you before, Hubbert is good! And, if left unchecked, any tax reform will merely provide more money for him to go after.
I do not know the dues structure of the AEA. If it is mandatory for participation as a teacher then that may offer one area of vulnerability. Like the unions, the AEA should be required by law to allow the unwilling to opt out of mandatory payments which go to political endeavors.
On the candidate front, it is difficult to convince a candidate to turn down the money when offered regardless of what the agency stands for. I personally would not accept tainted funds, but the cost of campaigning continues to grow seemingly without limit. A house seat may cost from 50K to 75K to be competitive. A senate seat now appears to approach a quarter million dollars. Obviously, when faced with these kind of expenses, one needs to find alternative means of funding one's campaign.
Just my thoughts. Take it or leave it, but I hope you find the way to unravel this Gordian knot.
A Member of a County Committee
Hugh: Just let me know how I can help. ____ will probably be against this but I think a majority of the steering committee and the executive committee will agree with you.
A Member of the Steering Committee
I told Bill Barrow with the Mobile Register that if I were the Governor, the last place I would look for advice and assistance would be the AEA and its teacher union boss Paul Hubbert. If you have noticed, the AEA has been on the attack against Bob Riley prior to the election and has continued even through this past week's AEA Journal.
The attacks have been vicious and partisan, and should cause many public school teachers to be ashamed of their organization. We need an alternative to AEA all over this state. [McInnish Note: There is one, ACoE. We need to make it better known.] We do not need higher taxes to benefit Richardson and Hubbert's fiefdom.
A County Chairman
I am working on a project in Houston County where the voters recently rejected a tax increase for education. Several members of the community came together after the recent tax vote and we committed ourselves to the task of finding solutions for the problems facing our local public education system. Our group consists of those that wanted to increase taxes and those that did not.
For the record, I fall into the "did not" crowd. Unfortunately, those that were for the tax seem unable to focus on any solutions other than finding ways to increase funding for schools. Any attempt to move the discussion to spending problems are blocked by official declarations that spending is controlled by state and federal mandates for which nothing can be done.
I understand their position, but I feel it is necessary to start a grassroots movement to take back local control of our respective education systems and that we can't ignore the 80% by merely saying that their position runs afoul of federal mandates. To me, those mandates need to give way to the 80%.
Houston County and the Dothan City School Systems together spend $95,000,000 to education 15,000 children every year. In recent years, 20% of our children have moved from the public schools to private schools or home schooling. All the while, our spending continues to increase for the public school system. Therefore, we are spending more money on fewer students and people are still leaving the system. To me, that is significant evidence that there is a problem.
While I can see it, I can only offer my opinions as to what the problems are. I would like to conduct a poll to identify what the 80% that voted "no" on the tax think the problems are with our education system.
Of course, I would like an unbiased poll that said that 100% of the people believe education would improve if Paul Hubbert and the AEA left the state. I probably can't get that, but I would like to give the voters in this area an opportunity to let their voices be heard. It is one thing to vote no on a tax, it is another to research and find that the reason people voted no was because they don't like the system and they want it to change. Armed with that type of information, you, our Party members in the legislature and our people running in local races can better stand up to Paul Hubbert and his mob.
A Strong Republican Activist
Please place us on your mailing list. Thank you .
A Statewide Candidate in the Last Election
As always, it is a pleasure hearing from you and reading your position on the AEA. I couldn't agree more. How can I help?
As you know I too am against the AEA in that it has gone too far. It left the kids long ago in the attempt to further its own agenda. I don't believe their words.
If you are farming a group or whatever, let me know. I will be happy to help. If you have any question, please don't hesitate to contact me at your convenience.
A Candidate in the Last Election
I have received [a letter from a certain prominent Republican] and agree with all of your concerns. I happen to know, for certain, that the Republican (that's what they call themselves) Senators have already set up a phony organization to take Trial Lawyer and AEA money.
So far as I am concerned, one is as bad as the other and I'm sick of it. This party ought to stand for something but, right now, it will fall for anything.
Please pass this along to your friends across the state and encourage them to confront their "Republican" Senators with these facts.
PS: They might also want to ask why Republicans would hire a liberal Washington, DC democrat as their consultant.
A Concerned Republican